Day 132 of HONDURAS COUP RESISTANCE – FAILURE OF “GUAYMURAS ACCORDS”
(November 6, 2009, Honduras Coup Alert#87)
(131st day of peaceful resistance to the coup regime. Photo, Karen Spring, November 5, 2009, Tegucigalpa)
- COPINH (Civic council of popular and indigenous organizations of Honduras) analyses the failed “Guaymuras Accords”
- CPTRT (Center for the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture) summary report on use of torture by oligarchic-military regime
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VIEW The Real News
“Nothing resolved in Honduras: Widely-celebrated, US-brokered agreement looks to have strengthened coup instead of reversing it”: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4431
HUMAN RIGHTS DELEGATION TO HONDURAS, November 24–December 1, 2009
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COPINH – CIVIC COUNCIL OF POPULAR AND INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS OF HONDURAS
The indigenous-campesino organization COPINH denounces the “Guaymuras Accords”
In the face of the signing of the accords to seek a solution to the crisis generated by the military coup d’etat against the people of Honduras, COPINH emits the following communiqué:
1. We have no trust in the negotiating commission of the coup regime, given that they have never demonstrated a willingness to reinstate the constitutional president of the republic. Its only purpose is to buy time to consolidate the objectives of the coup d’etat in looting the national treasury and imposing neoliberal projects of privatization of natural resources and state institutions.
2. We denounce the malicious and intentional attitude of the government of the United States of America, that takes ambiguous positions but, behind the scenes, has supported the coup-makers and, if not, how can they explain that in the kidnapping of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales they used the [U.S. military’s Honduran] Palmerola base? If the yankees had so much political will to contribute to the resolution of this crisis, why so much tolerance, patience and complacency with the coup-makers in lending themselves to a dialogue where they present deceiving agreements as a solution?
3. We call out people not to rest until we achieve the convoking of a popular and democratic national constitutional assembly, which should be made up of the different social sectors of the country such as women, feminists, youth, indigenous and black peoples, workers, the LGTB community, community councils, representatives of marginalized neighborhoods, teachers, artists, peasants, honest business people, intellectuals, professionals, the informal economy sector, alternative media, among others.
4. We urge the National Front of Popular Resistance to raise an initiative of dialogue and negotiation towards more dignified agreements in which the mediation shouldn’t be to the liking and oversight of the yankee government, which has helped drive the coup d’etat against our people, but instead by people like Rigoberta Menchu, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, democratic countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA) and UNASUR, foundations like the Carter Foundation, social movements of the countries of Latin America and the world like the Landless Peoples Movement of Brazil, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo of Argentina, the Scream of the Excluded, Jubilee South, the Convergence of Popular Movements of the Americas, the School of the Americas Watch, the platforms of solidarity with the Honduran people and others.
For this the front should name a negotiating commission that understands that the coup-makers are perverse and that the State Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. government in general are driving the coup d’etat and proposing, as key points, the restitution of the President of the Republic Manuel Zelaya Rosales to govern for the time that the coup-makers robbed of his governing period, the installation of a national constitutional assembly and the dissolution of the coup congress, of the coup supreme court, of the coup public ministry, the reduction and purging of the armed forces, the definitive purging of the national police and the punishment of the people involved in the coup d’etat and the violation of human rights.
5. We urge once again to the candidates of the Democratic Unification Party, the Popular Independent Candidacy, the PINU party and the Liberals, who are in resistance, to be consistent and renounce, once and for all, participation in the electoral farce set up by the coup-makers. To our people we urge you not to participate in the electoral circus and to boycott that act of the coup-makers.
6. To the international solidarity we invite you to strengthen the support to the Honduran people not just as a principle of solidarity but for reasons of self-defense since if the coup-makers consolidate in Honduras the democratic spring of the peoples of the world and particularly the peoples of our America will end.
With the ancestral force of Lempira, Iselaca, Mota and Etempica we raise our voices filled with life, justice, dignity, freedom and peace.
HERE NOBODY IS GIVING UP / AQUI, NO SE RINDE NADIE
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INTRODUCTION TO CPTRT’S RECENT REPORT DETAILING THE USE OF TORTURE BY THE COUP REGIME
By the CPTRT (Center for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and their Families). Complete report in Spanish: http://www.cptrt.org/pdf/Tortura_Represion_Sistematica_GolpeEstado.pdf. Translated by Patricia Adams of the Quixote Center, www.quixote.org)
The political military coup in Honduras, which took place on June 28, 2009, has special characteristics … .
The first component is the participation of the old followers of the National Security Doctrine that have continued practicing torture with impunity since the 80’s and who are the principle military and police advisors of the de facto regime.
The second component is the strategy of low intensity conflict, psychological torture, state terrorism, total suspension of constitutional guarantees, the state of siege and the presence of national and international hired assassins.
The third element is that the coup is taking place in the country where one of the most important US military bases exists [Palmerola, 40 minutes north of Tegucigalpa, the capital city] and where international military trainings and maneuvers occur frequently.
The fourth element is the alliance of economic, media, political, judicial, and religious powers in the country, that openly denies the coup, referring to it as a ‘constitutional succession.’ An alliance which also proclaims and justifies this military coup in the name of the law of God, peace, and democracy, all while keeping silent about murders, torture, and human rights violations.
The fifth component is the condemnation of the coup as a military coup, by almost 100% percent of the world’s countries, with the exception of United States, which condemns it as a coup but does not consider it to have been military in nature.
The sixth component is that the coup is considered as being not only against Zelaya but against the entire people of Honduras, and is a threat to the stability of some Latin American governments.
The seventh component is the existence of the popular response by the National Resistance Front Against the Military Coup, which has been protesting continuously for more than 120 days, despite the massive repression by brutal military and police force, the use of toxic gases, chemical weapons, intense noises, murders, persecution, political imprisonment and massive use of torture.
The eighth component is that the coup has occurred in the context of an electoral process which censors and gags the freedom of expression, in which the de facto government has fierce control of more than 90% of the communications media, and through which a variety of media outlets and journalists were militarized and repressed, including Radio Globo, Cholusat Sur, Diario Tiempo, Canal 11, Radio Progreso and the newspaper El Libertador.
The ninth element in that candidates from the opposition parties for the upcoming presidential, congressional, and mayoral elections have been subjected to torture, to being followed, to violent trauma and to murder. These facts are indicators of the restrictions on freedom and the civil and political rights of an electoral campaign process.
The tenth component is a 60% increase in femicide, the violations of the rights of trans-gender people, as well as the persecution and racism against the indigenous and the Garífunas. In this context, it is especially important to mention that since the sixth of October of 2009, 12 people affiliated with the Lenca indigenous organization COPINH have sought political asylum inside the Guatemala Embassy, that Augustina Flores, sister of COPINH leader Berta Caceres, was tortured by the police forces, and that the Lenca resistance leader Antoio Leiva was murdered.
Additionally, on the 21st of October, Day of the Forces that are Armed against the people, the criminal policies of the de facto regime resounded clearly when the repressive forces of the Direction of Criminal Investigation were ordered to break in, terrorize and silence the language and culture of our brothers and sisters of Radio Flumabimeto and Radio Duruugubuty, radio stations of the Garífuna peoples in the regions of Triunfo de la Cruz and San Juan, in the Bay of Tela, terrorizing 46 communities.
The murder of leaders of the teachers movements has been another characteristic of this military coup: Roger Vallejo, Martín Rivera, Mario Fidel Contreras, and Eliseo Hernández, as well as Jairo Sánchez, the President of the Union of INFOP Workers (SITRAINFOP), who was shot and eventually died from the wounds he sustained.
Lastly, we wish to point out the enormous risk of human rights defense work: our staff has been threatened, followed, and shot at, and their phone lines have been tapped and cut. We are grateful for the international solidarity and support and for our organization, particularly we are thankful for the Research Centre for Torture (RCT DANIDA). This report is a product of team work and the vocation to ethical and responsible service of the CPTRT.
We also take this opportunity to publicly recognize all the human rights organization, national and international, who are against the military coup.
Executive Director of the CPTRT
RISE IN REPORTS OF TORTURE AND CRUEL, INHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT
Tegucigalpa November 2, 2009: The CPTRT reports that the number of cases of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading (TCID) treatments has risen at an alarming rate and has become of means of political repression in the wake of the coup d’etat.
Throughout these four months, the CPTRT alone has registered 475 cases of torture and TCID. Nonetheless, it is estimated that the number of total cases in considerably higher given the tendency of under-reporting for fear of reprisal or lack of trust in the judicial system.
Between 2007 and the first half of 2009, CPTRT saw an average of 2.5 cases of torture each month, compared with 118.75 cases per month in the current context.
The majority of victims of torture seen by CPTRT have been protestors that have shown a serious opposition to the coup, although members of Congress, advocates of the 4th ballot box process, and journalists have been targeted as well.
[Translators note: The possible presence of a 4th ballot box was the subject of the non-binding survey President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya tried to carry out on June 28th 2009, the day of the coup d'etat. If the results of the non-binding survey would have been positive, Zelaya could have used them to back his proposal to Congress for the presence of a 4th ballot box in the November general elections. If the Congress approved the presence of the 4th ballot box, the Honduran people would have been able to vote for the creation of a Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting a new Constitution.]
The torture has been physical, psychological, and sexual and has been almost exclusively committed by the police and military. The torture has included both traditional and new methods, such as viscous blows to the body and throat, burns via the application of lit cigarettes to the body and genitals, use of gas, deprivation of water and food, humiliation, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, the threat of death, the threat of disappearance, and the threat of the use of electric shock, among others.
GIVEN THE ABOVE, CPTRT:
Demands that the Honduran state investigate, pursue and penalize those responsible for the crimes of torture and TCID, and demands that attention, reparation, and restitution be provided to the victims.
Offers the reminder that torture is a crime against humanity that is not subject to a statute of limitations and that the passage of time does not make impossible either investigation of the crimes nor penalty of those responsible.
Offers the reminder that the prohibition of torture is an obligation that Honduras assumed on a national level through the Constitution, and through the ratification of international instruments like Convention on Torture, among others.
CPTRT states that the defense of human rights in the country has become a high risk activity for its staff, which has been threatened continuously through intimidation, being fired upon, followed, and threatened. Therefore, CPTRT urges the international community to undergo pertinent actions to protect the life of defenders and also makes a special call to the representatives of the EU to apply the European Guidelines of Human Rights Defenders.
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